FIFA World Cup Preview: France v Nigeria

A confident France side face arguably their toughest test of the FIFA World Cup so far on Monday when they take on Nigeria in the last 16.

Didier Deschamps' men sailed through Group E with little trouble, helping further banish bad memories of off-field troubles in recent major tournaments. 

Comfortable wins over Honduras and Switzerland aided their progression to the knockout stages, with Deschamps able to rest star names for their final group game against Ecuador. 

While a 0-0 draw against the South Americans will have done little to excite fans back home, it allowed Deschamps to give run-outs to the likes of Lucas Digne, Morgan Schneiderlin and Antoine Griezmann. 

Regulars including Patrice Evra and Mathieu Valbuena were rested, although the French will likely take no risks in their selection for Monday's encounter.

While far from convincing in their group campaign, Nigeria qualified from an awkward pool that included Argentina, Bosnia-Herzegovina and Iran. 

That is one reason why midfielder Yohan Cabaye - expected to return from suspension for the game in Brasilia - says France will treat Monday's opponents with respect.

"One false step and you're home, so you already have that pressure," he said.

"I respect this Nigeria team, and we can go through but to say we can win the World Cup... well you have to be careful. 

"Even with the mentality and determination we have on the pitch there's nothing to say we won't be beaten by a better side. 

"Going from having ambition to saying we have to win the World Cup is putting yourself under unnecessary pressure."

For Nigeria, the work of Stephen Keshi at the helm continues to bring rewards. 

The former defender has guided his side to Africa Cup of Nations glory and the knockout stages of the World Cup in his tenure, with the latter not having been achieved since 1998. 

They finished the group with a flourish - overcoming a talented Bosnia side before pushing Argentina all the way in a narrow 3-2 defeat - and Keshi wants Nigeria to ignore their underdog tag against France.

"I said before the tournament that our mentality must be strong. Our approach to every match has always been the same: to win," he explained.

"Whether we are playing against Spain at the FIFA Confederations Cup or playing against Liberia in a friendly match, I always tell the boys that victory is non-negotiable.

"For us, we will go into Monday's match aiming to win. But as I also said before the competition, we take it one match at a time."

Victor Moses and Godfrey Oboabona could feature after only being fit enough for the bench against Argentina, although Michel Babatunde is ruled out with a fractured wrist.

For France, Deschamps could be handed a defensive problem with Mamadou Sakho reportedly struggling with a hamstring injury.